Return to squash activities in 2021

Welcome back, everybody, from what I am sure was a much‑awaited break from the trials and tribulations of 2020.  Unfortunately, for many it was not possible to take a break from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. To those who have been directly affected by the virus I offer my condolences and hope that events improve in 2021.

Being able to play squash during the various phases of lockdown has been a welcome relief to many players who have sorely missed the league and tournament events that normally take place throughout the year.  Thanks to the proactiveness of Squash SA, Joburg Squash and Joburg Masters Squash in establishing a playing protocol, we have been privileged to be able to practice our favourite sport during the latter half of 2020.

We would all like to continue playing in 2021, while maintaining the safety requirements of social distancing, disinfecting fomites and washing our hands regularly.  Squash SA issued guidelines for court activities during the modified Level 3 lockdown and if we, as a club, adhere to these then we should be able to participate in some form of tournaments and league in 2021.

We are hoping that the first club tournament for 2021 will be the Summer League in February possibly followed in March by a “Pre‑Season tournament” in preparation for the Joburg League.  Notice will be sent out once we have some clarity on the timing of the Joburg League and Joburg Masters League.

Joburg Squash have requested feedback from club members as to whether there would be an interest in playing a doubles league this year.  If you are keen, please let me or Phil Louw know at your soonest opportunity.

In the meantime, please take note of any instructions from The Wanderers Club regarding the use of restaurant and bar facilities and, in particular, the Lockdown Level 3 protocol for playing squash at The Wanderers.

 

SARS‑CoV‑2 Lockdown Level 3 –

Modified playing protocol at The Wanderers

▪️ Courts are open to paid‑up squash club members.

▪️ Visitors may train with a member subject to the payment of the appropriate fee and abidance by the rules of The Wanderers Club.

▪️ Visitors may participate in Joburg League and tournaments held at The Wanderers, subject to the rules applicable to the event.

▪️ No spectators are allowed.

▪️ Players must leave the premises once their activities are complete.

▪️ Anybody entering the squash premises for whatever purpose must:

✔️ Sanitize upon entry and regularly afterwards

✔️ Complete the attendance / track & trace register

✔️ Record their temperature using the instrument available at the booking computer

✔️ Not share kit, equipment or drinks. (Bring your own drinks container).

😷 Wear a mask when not playing.

✔️ Maintain social distancing.

 

Court Management and attendance at the squash office

Operations at the court continue to be run solely by the voluntary efforts of the WSC Committee members.  Unfortunately, the club is not in a financial position to appoint a Court Manager at this time, nor to appoint a temporary attendant at the office.

The Wanderers Club provides the services of a cleaner (Khaya) who cleans the courts daily.  If you have an issue with the cleanliness of the courts, please either report it directly to Khaya or to the Duty Manager (079 883 6520).  Please report any maintenance issues to the Duty Manager and if you would like to bring anything else to our attention, please contact me directly.

The courts have all been washed down once again and I trust that the inconvenience of having one court out of action in the latter week of January was not too disruptive.

I believe that with the current technology we can successfully operate the courts with little or no need for “human interaction”.  (Courts can be booked online via GoBook, your “visitor” account can be credited online via GoBook and courts can be activated using your membership card). One of the main challenges we currently have is the initial activation of new members’ cards, which has to be done physically at the squash computer. However, we are managing to address this by close liaison with the new members.

In December there was a disastrous flooding of the premises, resulting in some damage to furniture and equipment in the squash office. Once the insurance claims are finalized we are hoping to carry out a revamp of the office and details of this will be communicated later.

 

Reciprocal membership at other clubs

You may not be aware that The Wanderers has a reciprocal arrangement with many other clubs in South Africa and overseas and a full list of these clubs is available on the web page:

https://www.thewanderersclub.co.za/reciprocal-club-arrangements/

I must mention that I was down in Cape Town over December and I took full advantage of reciprocity at Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands. Not only can you play squash at no charge, you also get access to all their other facilities – including their very reasonably priced restaurant.

Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all on court over the next few weeks and months.

 

Chris Hughes.

Chairman – Wanderers Squash Club.